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“He’s sort of a quirky character, in a way, and reality TV loves that kind of person,” said Patty Williamson, an associate professor at Central Michigan University who has studied reality television and teaches media criticism.

“He was on the top of his career and he fell and unfortunately … we like to see people who have been successful take a fall and a lot of reality television markets itself on that premise.”

Chicago is the kind of place where media opportunities don’t dry up just because of a run in with the law. Blagojevich himself found that out when he landed a radio program before his trial.

So did Jim Laski. The former Chicago city clerk, who spent 11 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2006 to taking bribes, now hosts his own radio program.

But it’s no sure thing that “Blago” will join “Snooki” among the current nicknamed reality stars. Laski said Blagojevich might have problems finding work because prosecutors say they are already preparing for another trial.

“He’s kind of in purgatory, limbo,” said Laski, who pointed out that WLS-AM radio put Blagojevich’s show on hiatus until after his corruption trial.

Now, he said, “I don’t know who would want to hire him in broadcasting (because) his retrial is on the horizon.”

Not only that, but when Blagojevich wanted to go to Costa Rica before the trial to appear on “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here” _ the show his wife Patti appeared on _ Judge James B. Zagel wouldn’t let him leave the country. That has Laski wondering if the judge might prevent him from taking advantage of media opportunities out of concern about tainting the jury pool.

Not an hour after the jury’s verdict Tuesday, Blagojevich’s lead attorney, Sam Adam Jr., said at a news conference that he hoped his audience included potential jurors.

“He might clamp down,” Laski said of Zagel.


Associated Press Writer Michael Tarm contributed to this report.